Some years ago I was desperately eager to own a laptop and not just a laptop, “a powerful one”. I made sure to constantly remind my parent of that and on one of those long holidays, they told me to go find out the price of the one I wanted and get back to them. I wanted, an “Asus Zenbook”, it was sleek, fast, beautiful and so expensive but I wanted it. I told my parents and I remember my mum saying “Ahh! Oga where is the money? You better go and look for another one”, I was so angry ‘cause I wanted that one. I however went for a cheaper one, obviously not as sophisticated as the first but its features were close, it was ninety nine thousand naira. My parents said it was still too expensive and too risky for a student that stays in a hostel where things could easily go wrong but I convinced and begged that this was what I wanted, and it would be perfect for my seminars, projects and all sorts of thing, after so much pressure, they agreed.
I got home with my new baby, unboxed it and did the needful but I realized I wasn’t as thrilled as I had expected to be. I mean! I was supposed to feel different, like “breathe a different oxygen”, I had gotten the laptop I wanted, which was the most expensive thing I owned at the time! I hoped that feeling would dim with time but each day revolved on a sameness wheel. It was almost as though happiness was gradually melting into general darkness, ’cause I knew what I had said to my parents and how I made them feel when they told me to go for a cheaper option.
A question lived under my blanket: Is this how it really feels when you manipulate your way to get something? I wrestled with this feeling for quite some time then I decided to pour my thoughts down. I took the “almighty laptop” and wrote a poem about “vanity”, it was my first, my leap into poetry.
We woolgather day after day about an amply sufficient life
A picture firmly rooted in our imagination
Perception engineered by avarice
The life thus achieved by atrocity
Becomes unexplainable how the things we thought we wanted don’t seem so important anymore
Regretting why we took that turn to achieve it so badly
Wishing we were contended with the little we had
In the end, everything would be left behind like Judas’ 30 pieces of silver
Vanity, vanity upon vanity
All is vanity.
The extent to which I took the poem wasn’t anything close to the situation then, but I felt something inside me and needed to put something down. It however shows without a glimmer of doubt how vain the things we almost want to kill ourselves for are. The best things in life are good but never tie yourself so much to it, it’s not a “do or die” affair, understanding this will help you make better decisions and help break the bond with lust.
A wise man once said:
“If you tie your self-worth to anything outside you, get ready for a shock in this life. If you need things to validate who you are, you are in big trouble because you’ll never have enough of things”.
Take a moment to ponder on this.
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